Owner: The Hamilton Family
Location: Clearwater Beach, FL
The landmark Palm Pavilion on the north part of the island was established 86 years ago (1926), not long after the bridge was built to Clearwater Beach. It wasn't until 1964, after lousy winter weather and years of repeated approaches that the owner acquiesced to Howard Hamilton, selling him the snack bar.
At that time vacationers returned to Clearwater Beach every year to winter for two weeks in a mom and pop motel. After breakfast, they would spend their day on the sand. While there, Howard hoped they'd get thirsty or hungry. Day visitors arriving in their street clothes, would rent space at the pavilion, change into beach attire and store their belongings.
Fast forward to the 1980s. The changing rooms were removed and, while retaining much of its original architectural charm, the snack bar that closed at 5:00 p.m. was transformed into a restaurant and bar with an outside deck. Overlooking an expansive sand beach and the Gulf of Mexico, it immediately drew crowds for dinner, sunset watching and live music under the stars. Reputed to be the oldest operating beach pavilion in the state of Florida, the legacy created by Howard and his wife Jean is continued today by his sons and grandson. Over the past 47 years, the Hamilton family has worked diligently to make sure Clearwater, its island beach and The Palm have maintained their unique identities. Many years ago, Mom Jean coined their trademarked slogan, "There's no place, like this place, anywhere near this place, so this must be the place." See for yourself: www.palmpavilion.com